10 February 2014

BRE publishes guidance on building controls and energy management

BRE has published two information papers intended to help non-technical clients and building occupiers to specify building controls to provide a comfortable climate with the lowest possible energy consumption.
Information Paper 1/14: Understanding the Choices for Building Controls has been produced by BRE, with the help of the Energy Services Technology Association (ESTA) and Siemens Building Technologies.

Many building controls specifications are currently focused on providing the minimum controls requirements rather than innovative, energy saving controls solutions. BRE says this is because cutting-edge controls technologies are perceived to be overly technical and complex to operate.

The 16-page document has been produced to overcome these issues by helping clients and building occupiers to choose the most appropriate controls strategy and technologies for a building to help reduce its carbon footprint and provide a better environment for the occupants.

The paper provides simple explanations of the different control systems available, offers guidance as to where and why each system can, and should, be used along with advice on how to apply a technology to get an effective solution in practice.

The second information paper 2/14: Operating BEMS: A practical guide to building energy management systems has been produced by BRE, with the support of Schneider Electric and ESTA. It aims to help the many building users who have a poor understanding of the operation of a building energy management system and so fail to realise potential energy savings. The situation is often compounded by a user's failure to properly maintain the BEMS and to update it to reflect changes in building layout and variations in use.

The 12-page document provides users with practical instructions on how to effectively operate a BEMS to realise potential energy savings. It outlines the risks that should be considered and provides an overview of strategic issues that will impact on the operation of the BEMS. In addition to covering standard technologies, the paper also looks at the latest building management software like Analytics and automatic HVAC optimisation.

ESTA's former executive director, Alan Aldridge, said: 'The control of energy in buildings is generally poor, despite the availability of a range of tried and tested systems incorporating both mature and innovative technologies. These papers will help clients and occupiers better understand controls solutions and help them select an appropriate controls strategy that will save energy'.

Copies of the new papers are available to order or download from

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